Monday, January 21, 2013

Report: CBS Radio Working On A Deal With Cumulus

CBS head honcho Les Mooves is looking to ramp up deal making.

According to the, the first step — a spinoff of the billboard division — has sparked talk that CBS Radio will be the next to hit the market.

While CBS insists radio is a core business, industry insiders believe Moonves is open to a sale of the station group as he looks to reduce the company’s reliance on advertising and shed slower growth businesses.

The Post cites, including Media expert Jerry Del Calliano,  that while a sale of the radio unit isn’t imminent, it could happen in the next 12 to 24 months. Cumulus boss Lew Dickey, who runs the second-largest radio station group after Clear Channel, has already sent out feelers to No. 3 CBS Radio, sources said.

By acquiring CBS Radio, Cumulus would become roughly equal in size to Clear Channel. Cumulus has already teamed with CBS to get its fledgling CBS Sports Radio network off the ground.

A source familiar with Dickey’s thinking said he believes Cumulus could buy CBS Radio through a spinoff structure known as a reverse Morris trust that would minimize the tax hit to CBS.

“We just bought a major station in New York and launched the CBS Radio Network,” said a CBS spokesman. “We are not selling CBS Radio.”

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